Washington Wizards

This Date in NBA History (Sep. 25): Michael Jordan announces return, signs with Washington Wizards in 2001

On Sep. 23, 2001, a 38-year-old Michael Jordan came out of his second retirement to announce that he would be returning to the NBA floor as a member of the Washington Wizards.

This came just 21 months after the six-time NBA Champion had taken over as the President of Basketball Operations for the Wizards in January 2000. A year prior, in January 1999, he was famously quoted saying he was "99.9 percent certain" he would never return to the NBA.

Basketball fans began following his whereabouts when he began a rigorous training regime in the hopes of making a return. While he cooled down the expectations saying he was just trying to lose the weight he had gained since retiring in 1998, the interest spiked once again when he began hosting invitation-only camps for NBA players and hired Doug Collins as the head coach of the Wizards.

A couple of weeks after making his announcement official, Jordan also announced that he would be donating all of his $1 million salary for the 2001-02 season to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Jordan donated $100,000 of the sum to help the children who lost their parents at the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon while the remaining amount would be donated to other relief efforts in connection to the attacks.

In his return against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Jordan finished with 19 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals on 7-of-21 shooting from the field in a close 93-91 loss.

Jordan played two full seasons for the Wizards, averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 142 regular-season games. In December 2001, coming off his lowest-scoring game (six points), he exploded for 51 in the next game against the Charlotte Hornets.

That performance made him the oldest player in NBA history to score 50 points, a record broken 18 years later by Jamal Crawford.

Although the Wizards failed to make the playoffs in either season, Jordan, as he had in his rather famous and successful tenure with the Chicago Bulls, didn't disappoint basketball fans with his incredible performances.

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